REPORT #463 March 2002

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

Susan's decision to invest in Panama, versus Belize! The impact and emotional turmoil behind the scenes, brings on familar reflections in Belizean ex-patriats.

It is a dilemma for Belizeans, both at home and abroad, and for foreign investors. Belize is a beautiful country, with many assets and a potential for development beyond belief. It has lovely friendly people and best of all, geographic assets, they speak a familiar language English.

The very recent decision of one of this listserve members, a US citizen, with tourist investments in Belize on Ambergris Caye, to shift to Panama and not expand their current tourism investment in Belize, is so typical of many long term property owners in Belize.

I myself, with forty years as a pioneer of the tourism industry in Belize feel the same way, when looking for my retirement investment localityl. It tears at one's sense of patriotism and emotional heart strings, to be forced by practicalities and pragmatism, to look to another country.

Subtly and subconsciously there is always a nagging feeling of betrayal for not investing in Belize, or in my case for having an NGO like this, trying to develop Belize and the assets of the nation. Yet, when one comes down to separating the truth from emotional feelings, the sense of failure, the tug of war between Belizean patriotism, the missed development opportunities and the reality of the situation, one must put blame where it really belongs.

Belize is a wonderful country, the people are friendly, the opportunities are boundless. I love Belize, or I would not have this NGO to try and mould Belize into a better country, more favorable to foreign investment and to hopefully better the lifestyle of the people and make a better world for my Belizean grandchildren.

Yet the facts stubbornly remain! Belize has a corrupt, criminal system of governing, based on the British spoils, exploitation model of one party decides, parliamentary government.

There is betrayal here and I have to convince myself each and every new day that it is not me. But it is those political party faithful opportunists, who resist political reform, over the personal enrichment advantages of a plunder and exploitation model of government; which if they desired, they could change to a lawful, legal operating working consensual democracy, so easily. That, they do not do so, is selfish and criminal in my view.

The comparison with similar country ex-colony governing systems around the world, show the results of this political rapacious model. The traitors are not patriots like Belizeans who have immigrated abroad, or investors who decide not to invest, or expand existing investments in Belize. The traitors of criminal minds are those selfish local exploiters who join the political parties in Belize and will not use the power given to them, by the people; to make the legislative changes, to change Belize to a consensual working democracy.

SAD! VERY SAD! To see Belize not realize it's so, bountiful, potential because of homegrown selfish traitors. Bye Susan! Tell me how Panama treats you? Maybe by June, we will be following you? We are searching also, for safety of investment, fair pricing, a license and permit system that is open and fair to everyone, and a legal system that works.

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